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Melissa is All Meat and No Potatoes


Melissa Louise

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The Mission: UNLOCK DIETARY BEAST MODE. What would it be like to eat food and not worry about getting sick? What would it be like if I had a diet that contributed to a healthy weight but didn't make me sick when I eat? I aim to find out.

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I'm Melissa. Hi! In addition to the challenge things I am working on below, here's what I'm like. I'm a 37 year old living in the intermountain west. Things I like to do include being outside (mainly hiking, camping, backpacking, canyoneering, and rafting), reading, cooking (currently getting into fermentation and sausage making), baking, board games (word, old fashioned, and strategy games), other people's pets and children, and yoga. I think Ron Swanson might be my spirit animal. My superpowers include anxiety and reading comprehension.

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That's me five years and at least forty pounds ago on my very first canyoneering trip.

Some numbers for the start of my first full challenge (all minuses are since my last weigh in on August 11th)! Weight: 187 (-11 pounds! Body fat: 43% (-3%)! Upper bust: 40.5" (-.5") Full bust: 45 (- 2" yesssss)! Under bust: 36" (-2") Waist: 36.5" (no change) Belly: 45.5" (-.5") Hips: 45" (-1.5") Left bicep: 14.25" (-.75) Right bicep: 14.5 (-.5") Left thigh: 29" (-1") Right thigh 29.5" (-.5") Left calf: 18" (no change) Right Calf: 17.5" (-.5").

So that's 11 pounds gone forever, 3% body fat melted (just using my scale for this), and 9.75" inches returned to sender. While weight loss isn't part of my challenge for now, it is still important to me so this is exciting stuff.

On to mission control for this challenge!

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#1. Conquer my digestion. I've spent too much time letting my faulty digestion be in charge. I am doing an elimination diet in an effort to figure out what my system can handle, and I am committed to doing whatever it takes to turn this dark carnival back into a happy funtime circus. If that means living on bone broth and zucchini, BRING IT ON. Right now, this goal means: stick to my elimination diet 100% until it either starts working, or it becomes clear that it is in fact not going to work, at which point it's time to call in additional professional help. I currently eat very few things (pretty much just zucchini, carrots, bone broth, and plain animal proteins), but one upside is that my very restricted diet has me in ketosis (fat burning mode). I'll take all the fat burning help I can get. This is my circus, and those are my monkeys.

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#2. Be The Kindly Brontosaurus in dealing with doctors and medical stuff. Be the brontosaurus! Be kind, but don't leave until I get what I need! I need to be more assertive (not aggressive, just assertive) in my dealings with my medical issues. It's my body, no one else will ever have as much at stake as I do, and it's time to stop letting stuff happen or not happen to me. This means: making all my appointments in a timely fashion, being assertive at those appointments (be the brontosaurus! take a dinosaur friend if necessary!), researching all my own stuff thoroughly, getting second opinions, making sure my doctors know what they are talking about, filling all prescriptions in a timely fashion, and pushing and persisting for all necessary tests to get done. To healthy people, that may sound like a lot. For anyone else with chronic illness(es), that list will seem familiar. I have a lot going on, healthwise, and it's important for me to keep on top of things even when I feel horrible. I am done using illness as an excuse for not taking good enough care of myself. Don't feel good? Do the things anyway.

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#3. Track all the things! Continue to keep a daily journal that includes what I eat, medications, and symptoms. If I don't have my journal with me, just make a note on my phone. There is almost no point in my elimination diet if I don't write down what I eat and how I feel.

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Weight loss and exercise aren't included in those goals for the simple reason that my elimination diet is very difficult and is enough to be going on with right now, but I am working on both of those things as I can.

Grading and loot! I do love me some good loot.

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#1: Diet. This is pass/fail at the end of each week: did I stick to my elimination diet? Fail=get back on the horse, or get a new horse. Pass=LOOT if I've stuck to it 100%. I'll decide as I go what my rewards will be. I am including some diet vacations for planned travel because it is impossible to go backpacking while on my diet. On travel weekends, pass conditions include that I must return to my diet the morning after I return home.

#2. Be The Kindly Bronotsaurus. This is pass/fail at the end of each week. Fail=did very few or none of the things I needed to do, and means it's time to ask for some help to get those things done. Pass=did most or all of the things, and means MOAR LOOT, again to be decided as I go (what can I say, I have whims).

#3. Track all the things. Once again, this is pass/fail at the end of each week. Fail=tracked 3 or fewer days, or failed to track two days in a row and means no loot for me. Pass=tracked 4 or more days, and earns me more loot.

I plan to earn a lot of loot. Shiny!

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A reward for anyone who made it through all that: it's the song that inspired my thread title.

  • Like 2

My first six week challenge!

"I can't run, but I can walk much faster than this." -Paul Simon

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

 

Find me on Instagram, where I mostly post photos of outdoor adventures, baking projects, and books.

Link to post

I'm sorry to hear that you struggle so much with your digestion.  I am sure that if you keep going and trying to figure it out (without gong insane) it will eventually adjust.

 

You might notice that someone has added a tag to your post.  This is not to box you into a corner but rather because your goals or lifestyle have links to the guild you've been tagged and we'd like to bring you to the attention of one of their guild ambassadors. These ambassadors will be able to offer you advice, encouragement and support on your goals.  You don't even have to wait around for them to come introduce themselves to you, you are more than welcome to pop into the Rangers' board and introduce yourself to the guildies there. I am also around to answer any questions that you might have so do not hesitate to PM me.

 

Good Luck with your challenge

AB xx

  • Like 1

Half Faerie (Sidhe) Scout | Black Belt Kitchen Ninja
"A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort" - Herm Albright
You're welcome to skype me (audriwolf) too but let me know who you are

My challenge

 

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Ooh, elimination diet.  Solidarity, sister.  *fistbump*

 

Over many many years (and trial and error) I finally tamed the beast that is My IBS.  It was HORRIBLE.  Eating and hoping I wouldn't feel like crap afterwards is just not a thing anyone should have to deal with daily!!!  One of the best (and most interesting) things for me was that the more I started consistently working out and eating cleaner overall, the better my digestive issues got!  Right now I'm down to avoiding raw onions, black pepper, alfredo sauces, and broccoli.  (Odd list, haha!)

 

GOOD LUCK!!  You can do it and you will feel so much better! :D

 

Also ~*~welcome~*~ from the Rangers!  If you're interested feel free to pop over and say hi in the guild hall chat!! <3

  • Like 1

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 50 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

»  kom starkru

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Ooh, elimination diet.  Solidarity, sister.  *fistbump*

 

Over many many years (and trial and error) I finally tamed the beast that is My IBS.  It was HORRIBLE.  Eating and hoping I wouldn't feel like crap afterwards is just not a thing anyone should have to deal with daily!!!  One of the best (and most interesting) things for me was that the more I started consistently working out and eating cleaner overall, the better my digestive issues got!  Right now I'm down to avoiding raw onions, black pepper, alfredo sauces, and broccoli.  (Odd list, haha!)

 

GOOD LUCK!!  You can do it and you will feel so much better! :D

 

Also ~*~welcome~*~ from the Rangers!  If you're interested feel free to pop over and say hi in the guild hall chat!! <3

 

Yay you solved your IBS puzzle! That's amazing and inspirational. Raw onion avoidance solidarity! ;) I don't know whether they're ok for me to eat, I just want to kill them with fire. I love cooked onions.

Me having the energy to tackle this problem is actually a good sign. It's the first time in years I've felt good enough and had enough relief from other medical issues to have the bandwidth for dealing with the digestive issues. Some of the backstory there is that I had severe undiagnosed endometriosis for 15+ years, so getting that diagnosed and having access to medication for it has been pretty life changing.

Now I'm determined to figure this diet thing out, because that will also be life changing. If I figure out what I can safely eat, I will have all the power! Ironically, eating super clean for me means being sick much much more often, but that's because before, I was living on the super unhealthy things that don't upset my GI system (mostly rice, bread, and baked goods). Those things made me fat, but they don't make my system angry. I'm hopeful that I'll stop getting sick on my base elimination diet soon.

 

Following for ALL the bacon and eggs you have

Hahaha, that is one of the best Ron Swanson moments. â¤ï¸

Thanks for the rangerly welcomes!

Gonna go do a shoulder yoga video.

  • Like 3

My first six week challenge!

"I can't run, but I can walk much faster than this." -Paul Simon

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

 

Find me on Instagram, where I mostly post photos of outdoor adventures, baking projects, and books.

Link to post

Yay you solved your IBS puzzle! That's amazing and inspirational. Raw onion avoidance solidarity! ;) I don't know whether they're ok for me to eat, I just want to kill them with fire. I love cooked onions.

Me having the energy to tackle this problem is actually a good sign. It's the first time in years I've felt good enough and had enough relief from other medical issues to have the bandwidth for dealing with the digestive issues. Some of the backstory there is that I had severe undiagnosed endometriosis for 15+ years, so getting that diagnosed and having access to medication for it has been pretty life changing.

Now I'm determined to figure this diet thing out, because that will also be life changing. If I figure out what I can safely eat, I will have all the power! Ironically, eating super clean for me means being sick much much more often, but that's because before, I was living on the super unhealthy things that don't upset my GI system (mostly rice, bread, and baked goods). Those things made me fat, but they don't make my system angry. I'm hopeful that I'll stop getting sick on my base elimination diet soon.

 

 

Oh gosh, 15+ years!  You are a trooper!!!

 

I found out a lot of my IBS was brought on by life stress that I honestly didn't think was even affecting me...... but it was, through my gut!!  Working to ditch the stress combined with eating better-for-me foods took a while to nail down... man, when I look back at my diet then and wonder why I was having problems.....!  There's a fine line between eating things that make your system happy and things that are good for you.  Like broccoli... no can do. :(

  • Like 1

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 50 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

»  kom starkru

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Oh, man, you have all my sympathies! My boyfriend, best friend, and brother-in-law all have digestion issues (BIL has ulcerative colitis, BF has something more undefined that hasn't been quite bad enough for him to go through an elimination diet for, best friend has diagnosed celiac. She appreciates me being keto cause I can pass off my baked goodies to her :D). Best of luck to you, I hope you figure it out!

  • Like 1

Maeghaan | Assassin

EQ Level 2 | NF Level 4

I started a blog: The Cognitive Itch
"Even in these chains, you can't stop me"

 

Weight loss goal: Drop from 247 to 160

36%
36%
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Oh gosh, 15+ years!  You are a trooper!!!

 

I found out a lot of my IBS was brought on by life stress that I honestly didn't think was even affecting me...... but it was, through my gut!!  Working to ditch the stress combined with eating better-for-me foods took a while to nail down... man, when I look back at my diet then and wonder why I was having problems.....!  There's a fine line between eating things that make your system happy and things that are good for you.  Like broccoli... no can do. :(

 

Huh.  Stress?  Me?  Like I said to my dentist after I chewed through my second night guard in 3 months, if I knew how to relax, I wouldn't be here now would I?  ;)  I'm working on it, I really am, but my baseline level of stress is generally: APOCALYPSE NOW.  I'll keep plugging away on that front.

 

I can't resist the opportunity to bust this one out.  I am allergic to melons, you can't do broccoli.  Together, we are meloncholy!

 

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Oh, man, you have all my sympathies! My boyfriend, best friend, and brother-in-law all have digestion issues (BIL has ulcerative colitis, BF has something more undefined that hasn't been quite bad enough for him to go through an elimination diet for, best friend has diagnosed celiac. She appreciates me being keto cause I can pass off my baked goodies to her :D). Best of luck to you, I hope you figure it out!

 

Crikey, that's a lot of gut dysfunction in one circle!  Family dinner parties must be challenging.  I've been painstakingly trying to retrain my family away from Sunday dinners and into nonfood activities, but it's uphill work.  My most used phrase at food related events is "No thank you." 

 

Today I am looking to do a longer yoga session.  Maybe later I'll read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" to my stomach, maybe it's just confused about what friendly behavior looks like.  ;)

  • Like 1

My first six week challenge!

"I can't run, but I can walk much faster than this." -Paul Simon

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

 

Find me on Instagram, where I mostly post photos of outdoor adventures, baking projects, and books.

Link to post

Huh.  Stress?  Me?  Like I said to my dentist after I chewed through my second night guard in 3 months, if I knew how to relax, I wouldn't be here now would I?  ;)  I'm working on it, I really am, but my baseline level of stress is generally: APOCALYPSE NOW.  I'll keep plugging away on that front.

 

I can't resist the opportunity to bust this one out.  I am allergic to melons, you can't do broccoli.  Together, we are meloncholy!

 

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THAT IMAGE!!!! AHAHAHAHAAA!!  Hilarity!!  Yup that is definitely us between melons and broccoli!!!

 

YUP STRESS.  I never realized how much of a constant low-mid grade level stress I housed daily until life events changed along with me getting more mindful and WHOA.  It's amazing how much stress can affect you internally, I never really thought of it like that until I started feeling terrible.  I remember I used to have small "windows of time" where my stomach would feel hungry for a certain food (mashed potatoes, chicken nuggets, etc.) and if I could eat a little bit in that window, cool, but if I was too late, I couldn't get the food even past my lips before my stomach started to clench up and hurt.  And THAT of course gives you MORE stress!!

 

Bodies.  BODIES.  I'm excited to hear about your food adventures and progress!!!

  • Like 1

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 50 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

»  kom starkru

Link to post

THAT IMAGE!!!! AHAHAHAHAAA!!  Hilarity!!  Yup that is definitely us between melons and broccoli!!!

 

YUP STRESS.  I never realized how much of a constant low-mid grade level stress I housed daily until life events changed along with me getting more mindful and WHOA.  It's amazing how much stress can affect you internally, I never really thought of it like that until I started feeling terrible.  I remember I used to have small "windows of time" where my stomach would feel hungry for a certain food (mashed potatoes, chicken nuggets, etc.) and if I could eat a little bit in that window, cool, but if I was too late, I couldn't get the food even past my lips before my stomach started to clench up and hurt.  And THAT of course gives you MORE stress!!

 

Bodies.  BODIES.  I'm excited to hear about your food adventures and progress!!!

 

Oddly enough, yelling "RELAX!!!" at myself has been pretty ineffective.  Go figure.  I've discovered that when I am having food aversion and really having trouble eating things, it's my body telling me that I'm about to get sick anyway.  Fingers crossed, I MAY have discovered part of what was making me so sick.  I had been taking 1T of apple cider vinegar in water 15 minutes before eating to promote stomach acid, and then normally I'd eat right then.  But the other day, I got distracted and didn't eat, and got really sick just from the vinegar water.  I've stopped taking the vinegar now. I didn't get sick yesterday, and if I can make it through today, that would be my first two day no sickness stretch in a long time.  I don't want to jinx it, but here's hoping!

 

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I did some great yoga yesterday, followed by a very relaxing meditation.  I'm crossing our thread-streams, here, but I tried using a block for getting into crow like you mentioned, and it got me closer than I've ever been before!  Thanks for that! I also found a different video for getting into Warrior III that I really liked.  Tonight there will be yoga in the park with some local NF folks. 

 

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  • Like 2

My first six week challenge!

"I can't run, but I can walk much faster than this." -Paul Simon

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

 

Find me on Instagram, where I mostly post photos of outdoor adventures, baking projects, and books.

Link to post

#1. Conquer my digestion. I've spent too much time letting my faulty digestion be in charge. I am doing an elimination diet in an effort to figure out what my system can handle, and I am committed to doing whatever it takes to turn this dark carnival back into a happy funtime circus. If that means living on bone broth and zucchini, BRING IT ON. Right now, this goal means: stick to my elimination diet 100% until it either starts working, or it becomes clear that it is in fact not going to work, at which point it's time to call in additional professional help. I currently eat very few things (pretty much just zucchini, carrots, bone broth, and plain animal proteins), but one upside is that my very restricted diet has me in ketosis (fat burning mode). I'll take all the fat burning help I can get. This is my circus, and those are my monkeys.

 

 

Not sure if you've heard of FODMAP, but it helped my sister a lot with digestive issues. She went super strict for awhile, and slowly has added a few things back 

 

Hopefully you'll get it figured out!

  • Like 1

Try not, do or do not- Yoda

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Not sure if you've heard of FODMAP, but it helped my sister a lot with digestive issues. She went super strict for awhile, and slowly has added a few things back 

 

Hopefully you'll get it figured out!

 

Hey, thanks for the suggestion.  I am doing low FODMAP already, as I know I definitely have a problem with some of them, but no luck so far.  I'm now on day 17 of living on bone broth, a few cooked veggies (mostly zucchini and carrots), and plain animal proteins.  I keep hoping things will clear up and I'll be able to start testing foods by adding them back, but I have to be symptom free first to start doing that. I seem to get sick at least every second afternoon regardless of whether or not I have eaten.  I know there's a line between waiting for the diet to work versus persisting past the point where it makes sense, and I don't think I'm there yet, but I'm not real sure where that line is.  Sometimes it's tempting to go back to living on rice and unhealthy carbs, because at least then I'm not sick all the time, but I am persisting because I am determined to figure out a healthy diet that I can eat without getting sick.

My first six week challenge!

"I can't run, but I can walk much faster than this." -Paul Simon

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

 

Find me on Instagram, where I mostly post photos of outdoor adventures, baking projects, and books.

Link to post

Hi there! I'm also a board game fan. Also, great job channeling the spirit of Ron Swanson!

 

Hey Trawlerman, what games are your favorites?  We've been playing a fair amount of 7 Wonders and Dominion lately, but I also have a soft spot for old school board games like Clue. 

 

I do a few things I doubt that Ron Swanson would approve of, like yoga, but I've also been picking up skills that I feel would fit on the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness, like splitting logs and making a fire.  Next up is learning to properly gut and fillet fish!

My first six week challenge!

"I can't run, but I can walk much faster than this." -Paul Simon

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

 

Find me on Instagram, where I mostly post photos of outdoor adventures, baking projects, and books.

Link to post

Today was the best.  I went up to a spa in a scenic canyon at one of our local ski resorts with some girlfriends.  We soaked up what felt like the summer's last beautiful sunshine at the pool with the best view:

 

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And then we went to a fantastic yoga class.  My crow pose is really coming along, I can hold it for a few seconds now.  I thought it would take me such a long time to get into it at all, so this is very exciting.  I feel like I may be able to make real progress on holding it for 30 seconds during this challenge.  I actually really like the challenge of it, and when I get into it I feel like I can fly.  Good stuff today.  Maybe tomorrow is the day I don't get sick!

 

My first six week challenge!

"I can't run, but I can walk much faster than this." -Paul Simon

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

 

Find me on Instagram, where I mostly post photos of outdoor adventures, baking projects, and books.

Link to post

I feel you on the diet thing, and also on Ron Swanson, spirit animal. I got very ill about 6 years ago and realized I have Celiac disease. The blessing was that I discovered Paleo before Paleo was a thing and lost 40 lbs, nice bonus. I still struggle with digestive issues but now I'm at the point where I've got my diet fairly under control and my gut relatively healed so I want to be on to fitness, but it's hard when I never really feel quite nourished by food. Anyway, I think it's an excellent challenge to focus on your diet - it's exactly what I did six years ago and I don't think I could have juggled it with other goals. I hope you make some solid strides during this challenge!

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I've got eclectic gaming tastes. Off the top of my head, a few of my very favorite games in different categories:

Abstracts:

Bladder - a 2p chess pawn variant with a football theme

Medium Weight Euros:

Tikal - an action point area majority game

Tigris & Euphrates - a tile-laying civ-building conflict game

War Games:

Hammer of the Scots - a block war game (think a more complicated Stratego) about the Scottish Wars for Independence.

RPGs:

D&D 5e - classic pen & paper adventure goodness.

I like Dominion a lot. And I actually just got 7 Wonders (I can't keep up with new games like I used to; I'm always a few years behind now, but at least I'm left looking at the cream of the crop that's survived a few years). I am looking forward to trying it with my kids. One of their favorite newer games is Splendor, which I think is a great design in the same vein as Dominion and 7 Wonders.

Also, nothing wrong with Clue!

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It's Ron Swanson, of course he has an opinion about yoga:

 

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I feel you on the diet thing, and also on Ron Swanson, spirit animal. I got very ill about 6 years ago and realized I have Celiac disease. The blessing was that I discovered Paleo before Paleo was a thing and lost 40 lbs, nice bonus. I still struggle with digestive issues but now I'm at the point where I've got my diet fairly under control and my gut relatively healed so I want to be on to fitness, but it's hard when I never really feel quite nourished by food. Anyway, I think it's an excellent challenge to focus on your diet - it's exactly what I did six years ago and I don't think I could have juggled it with other goals. I hope you make some solid strides during this challenge!

 

Oh, man, I'm so glad you figured the celiac thing out!  Keep your fingers crossed for me today.  I've done everything I possibly can to not get sick, and if I can manage it, it will be my first illness free two day stretch in forever.  I am keeping hope alive over here.  ;)

 

This reminds me

 

Wow, that takes me right back to the '90s.  I graduated high school in '96.  Long term, I'd like to get back down to around what I weighed then, but be full of muscles.

 

I've got eclectic gaming tastes. Off the top of my head, a few of my very favorite games in different categories:

Abstracts:
Bladder - a 2p chess pawn variant with a football theme

Medium Weight Euros:
Tikal - an action point area majority game
Tigris & Euphrates - a tile-laying civ-building conflict game

War Games:
Hammer of the Scots - a block war game (think a more complicated Stratego) about the Scottish Wars for Independence.

RPGs:
D&D 5e - classic pen & paper adventure goodness.

I like Dominion a lot. And I actually just got 7 Wonders (I can't keep up with new games like I used to; I'm always a few years behind now, but at least I'm left looking at the cream of the crop that's survived a few years). I am looking forward to trying it with my kids. One of their favorite newer games is Splendor, which I think is a great design in the same vein as Dominion and 7 Wonders.

Also, nothing wrong with Clue!

 

I never could get into the two on your medium list, although I think they may still be lurking in our game collection.  Hammer of the Scots sounds interesting, I'll have to check that out.  I think what I always liked about Clue is that it's a straight up deduction game, no visual/spatial skills needed! I am easily visually overwhelmed, which is why I've always preferred board games to video games.  I think the last video game I played was Zork on my brother's Commodore 64.  If you recognize any of those words, you'll know how long ago that was.  ;)

  • Like 1

My first six week challenge!

"I can't run, but I can walk much faster than this." -Paul Simon

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

 

Find me on Instagram, where I mostly post photos of outdoor adventures, baking projects, and books.

Link to post

It's funny because I don't relate to much of the video game talk here. I played video games as a kid (born '79), but the last time I seriously played any video game was probably 1997. I have good friends who are still into them, but I personally never really got past the 16-bit phase! These days, I'm 99% an analog gamer.

Related, I played 7 Wonders for the first time with my children today. The 13-year-old scored first followed by the 11-year-old. I came in third right before the 9-year-old! :-)

  • Like 1
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Feeling pretty disouraged that I am still getting sick all the time despite eating so clean, and I am SO OVER the part where I'm sick so often.  It's painful, inconvenient, and disheartening.  So, I came here to talk it through and make a plan for going forward. 

 

I could really use some help and encouragement at this point.  If you have the time, please read this post and weigh in by responding with what you think is the mostly likely to be causing issues for my GI system.

 

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So, in the spirit of one of my favorite plays, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (it's Hamlet from the viewpoint of two minor characters, and also a delightful film starring Tim Roth and Gary Oldman), I will now attempt to break down the possible things at work causing this improbable persistence of illness despite super clean eating.  In the play, the characters are confused and alarmed when a coin tossed into the air 157 times comes up heads each time.  The strangeness of the coin toss causes Guildenstern to remark that "A weaker man might be moved to reexamine his faith.  If in nothing else, at least in the law of probability...Consider:  One.  Probability is a factor which operates within natural forces.  Two.  Probability is not operating as a factor.  Three.  We are now held within un-, sub-, or super-natural forces.  Discuss."

 

I am now at day 19 of strictly eating only bone broth, plain animal proteins, and a handful of cooked vegetables (mostly zucchini, occasionally carrots) plus a very small number of other things, like salt and olive oil, plus I've been doing that 80-90% since May this year. I am doing the elimination diet protocol outlined in the book DIgestive Health with Real Food. Any reasonable digestive system would respond to this with improved function.  Mine, however, just makes me sick all the time. Here are my theories about what's happening:

 

1. Unnatural forces.  I am somehow still being poisoned by something I am ingesting.  That can only be one or more of the very limited foods I am eating, the water I am drinking, or one or more of my medications. 

 

-The foods seem unlikely, but I am open to suggestions there.  The only times my digestion sort of works are when I live on bland and easily digested carbs like white rice, bread, and baked goods, but that causes lots of other issues like acid reflux, and is very unhealthy.  I actually get sick less often on a modified SAD diet than I do on my elimination diet, but still often enough to be a problem.  Be advised that while I'm open to advice about what I'm eating, I am not able to eat nuts, raw fruits, or raw vegetables due to severe oral allergy syndrome (it's a type 1 IgE mediated food cross reactivity allergic reaction).

 

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-Water.  Maybe, but again unlikely. The water I am drinking is mostly just our household tap water (I was drinking a lot of mineral water but discontinued it), and except for the aforementioned bone broth, that is all that I drink.  I know we have very hard water that irritates my skin, could it be irritating my GI system?  Unknown.  I guess I could buy distilled or purified water to drink for a while if people think that could be an issue.  If necessary, we could put in a household water softener.

 

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-Medications.  Maybe, but I don't think it's very likely.  The only things I take routinely by mouth are antihistamines, B12, and birth control.  I have a pain medication that I take as infrequently as possible (usually for 3-5 days per month) which I doubt is the issue since I don't take it very often.  For the record, I have also tried about every probiotic under the sun to no avail, so I am not currently taking one.

 

2. Subnatural forces.  I am being affected by an underlying medical issue or issues that need attention.  I do have a known inflammatory condition called endometriosis, but none of my doctors think it could be causing my GI symptoms.  Due to my GI symptoms, I've been scoped six ways from Sunday (many colonoscopies and an endoscopy of my upper GI system/stomach), and all they can ever come up with is "Well, it's not cancer, or one of the inflammatory bowel diseases."  Gastritis and IBS are the things the GI doctor says I have, but those are not helpful diagnoses without a plan of action that improves my symtoms.  I have never had a doctor give me any useful advice for fixing my GI symptoms, and believe me, I am desperate enough to do anything they suggest, although I may punch the next person who wants to do ANOTHER colonoscopy right in the face. 

 

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An underlying condition seems like it could be a possibility, but what?  It may be time to set up an appointment with a new GI doctor recommended by a friend to start exploring this possibility.  My current GI doctor and I have issues with communication, and she seems to think that I'm fine as long as I don't have Chrohn's or IBD, where I am of the opinion that being sick every other day, minimum, is not the same as being fine.  I'm also still cranky with that doctor for not taking the time to talk with me about my B12 deficiency--it's not a normal deficiency for someone of my age (37), and my diet contains plenty of animal sources of B12 so there's something wrong in there that is causing me to not get the B12 I'm ingesting. 

 

3. Supernatural forces.  I am being taken over by an alien race, and my diet is obviously all wrong for my alien symbiote's needs. 

 

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I know that was long, but I am really at the end of my rope.  I have an epic planned vacation starting after work this coming Friday, during which I will eat mostly sensibly, but not on my elimination diet, and after I come home I will be ready to move forward, I'm just not sure what direction to go in.  Stick it out with my current elimination diet for a specific amount of time to see if it will somehow magically start working?  Tweak my food, water, or medications? Go to the doctor and persist until they come up with a plan?  Learn my alien symbiote's language and see if we can communicate?

 

I would be very grateful for any thoughts or advice you can send my way, fellow nerds.

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My first six week challenge!

"I can't run, but I can walk much faster than this." -Paul Simon

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

 

Find me on Instagram, where I mostly post photos of outdoor adventures, baking projects, and books.

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